Sharjah: Young foodies and aspiring chefs got an opportunity to hone heir skills during a masterclass by celebrity Arab chef Nidal Albrihi at the ongoing 13th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) at Expo Centre Sharjah.
The Jordanian-born reality TV star shared secrets of preparing flavoursome Musakhan rolls, before whipping up glasses of mixed berry smoothie and serving up a platter of creamy shrimp fettucine.
“It’s a healthy option for kids and easy to make any time of the day,” noted Albrihi, adding: “Musakhan rolls is a popular Palestinian-Arab delicacy, also commonly known as Sumac chicken rolls. They are made of pan-roasted chicken with caramelised onions, flavoured with Sumac and wrapped in Saj bread. The final and the most important part is baking the rolls to a crispy perfection.”
Albrihi also taught how to prepare shrimp fettucine from a scratch. “It’s creamy, cheesy and full of flavour. And what enhances it is the addition of shrimps,” he added.
He also served smoothies made of a blend of fresh strawberries and blueberries that not only completes the meal, but also provides children with essential vitamins and minerals.
‘Walking trees’ have been grabbing the attention of both young and adult visitors at SCRF. Crowds of children and families are seen trailing behind these tall creatures that seek to inspire empathy and respect for nature and the environment in children. The wandering trees also help raise awareness about the future of our planet.
‘Books make us wiser’
Meanwhile, award-winning children’s author Christopher Okemwa told young visitors to read “more books and become wiser”. The Kenyan writer, known for his book ‘Sabina and the Mystery of the Ogre’, regaled his young fans with excerpts from his stories.
“Books are the windows to the world,” he said, adding: “The more you read, the more you know about cultures from around the world; the different languages and histories. And if you understand other communities well, you get closer to being a complete human being.”
When asked by a young fan about what inspired him to be an author, Okemwa said: “I always had stories to tell. I heard so many of them from my mother and my grandmother and even pupils like you when I taught in lower-primary school. I had to capture them all in a book. I grew up with my mother, without a father, in poverty. And often when you are left with no money, no food, all you have then with you is your power to express yourself through your writing.”
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Okemwa is currently developing a third story to his popular series, and has titled it ‘Sabina and The Old Woman’.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday (9am-8pm); Friday (4pm-9pm); Saturday and Sunday (9am-9pm).
Entry is free.